Commentary on Lincoln's Address, Adam Bede & the Scarlet Letter

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Jeremy Sutton

English IB 2


Adam Bede: Tone and Detail

        The author’s tone in the passage from Adam Bede represents Bede’s nostalgic feelings for the past, and his disapproval of the present. The tone shows that Bede loved many things of the past, the old fashioned ways of doing things, and now the present is too different and progressed and Bede is no longer comfortable.

        The detail in this passage aims to compare and contrast the past and present. Bede describes something of the “Old Leisure” and compares it with the present equivalent. He prefers the Old Leisure of the past, yet he feels that Old Leisure is now unwelcome in society, passed up by the new technology and improved leisure of the present. He goes on to say that the present is “prone to excursion-trains, art-museums, periodical literature, and exciting novels: prone to even scientific theorizing,” then he contrasts that by saying “Old Leisure was quite a different personage: he only read one newspaper, innocent of leaders, and was free from that periodicity of sensations which we call post-time.” The detail Bede provides about how he lived in the country shows a great sense of his love for the old fashioned ways. He says the Old Leisure is “pure and unchained by philosophy or spirituality.” Bede states that the leisure of the past is innocent, while the leisure of today is tainted by religion and philosophy.

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The Scarlet Letter: Tone and Point of View

        The tone in chapter one of The Scarlet Letter gives an almost eerie feel of the prison door that the townspeople stand before. It also dictates the importance and historical value of the prison door. The citizens must feel that the door has a special significance.

        The point of view in this passage is taken from the third person limited perspective. It was most likely in the eyes of an onlooker, watching the townspeople in front of the prison door. The point of view carries through the whole first chapter, ...

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